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Our schedules are seriously crowded these days, whether it be running from clinic to clinic, squeezing in lunch meetings, or trying to run errands after work, by the time we arrive at home we are too mentally exhausted to do anything cognitively demanding. There seems to be minimal time for the other things in life, such as hobbies, reading and relaxing.

In an effort to optimise our lives and increase our productivity, listening to audiobooks and podcasts has become a popular choice for many busy people. Personally, I’m not a fan of the term ‘busy’, but the convenience of placing a podcast on in the background whilst you carry out some chores, or undertake your daily dose of exercise, cannot be underestimated; the inner productivity monkey becomes satiated quickly. This has especially been simplified with the rise of wireless headphones and airpods that provide one the freedom to step outside of rooms, workout vigorously and not be attached to a smartphone or tablet device.

The podcast trend kickstarted in the field of emergency medicine, probably due to the easily digestible nature of a 10-20 minute podcast, suitable for any sort of attention span. Equally, the majority of medical podcasts seem to originate from the US or Canada, probably where the trend of starting a podcast kicked off sooner. There is evidence now showing the benefits of podcasts in medical education, including students and residents reporting higher levels of teaching efficacy, fun and knowledge gain when listening to a podcast compared to traditional teaching methods, such as textbooks [1,2].

So, without further ado, here is a list of my top five ophthalmology-related podcasts, in no particular order. This list is not extensive and there is a plethora of eye-related podcasts, however, the hosts of these podcasts create content regularly, have professional audio and do an excellent job of maintaining your interest. These podcasts can be listened to on the usual platforms by all ophthalmic healthcare professionals: Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast.

 

 

Eye to Eye

About: The official Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) podcast that explores the latest research papers, interviews with healthcare workers, educational content, clinical updates and conference proceedings relating to ophthalmology.
Target audience: Ophthalmic healthcare professionals
Episodes: 28 • Mean duration: 20 mins
Host: Dr Sunil Mamtora, Ophthalmology Trainee
Apple Podcasts rating: 5.0 (30 ratings)

 

 

JAMA Ophthalmology Author Interviews

About: The official JAMA Ophthalmology podcast that interviews the authors of the latest published research articles, reviews and opinions in ophthalmology. Allows listeners to stay-up-to-date with the latest clinical research in a leading ophthalmology journal.
Target audience: Ophthalmic healthcare professionals
Episodes: 64 • Mean duration: 12 mins
Host: Prof Neil Bressler (MD), Wilmer Eye Institute, USA
Apple Podcasts rating: 4.7 (3 ratings)

 

 

Straight From The Cutter’s Mouth: A Retina Podcast

About: An American podcast that interviews leading experts in the field in vitreoretinal surgery. The hosts do an excellent job of maintaining some generalisability to other subspecialties and whet our appetite for all things medical and surgical retina.
Target audience: Medical retina specialists and vitreoretinal surgeons
Episodes: 263 • Mean duration: 43 mins
Host: Dr Jayanth Sridhar (MD), Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, USA
Apple Podcasts rating: 5.0 (1 rating)

 

 

Eye for Ears

About: An American podcast focussing on educational nuggets for ophthalmology trainees. The podcast was created to act as a communal revision guide for the US ophthalmology exit exam, but now hosts an enormous amount of useful, digestible and interesting educational resources.
Target audience: Ophthalmology trainees
Episodes: 69 • Mean duration: 43 mins
Hosts: Ben Young (MD), Clinical Lecturer, VR Fellow, Kellogg Eye Centre, USA and Andrew Pouw (MD), Assistant Ophthalmology Professor, University of Iowa, USA
Apple Podcasts rating: 5.0 (8 ratings)

 

 

GenEYE POD

About: A new ophthalmology-related podcast originating from the Eye and Ear, Melbourne, Australia. The hosts explore new areas of progress and the latest technology that helps with the daily tasks of learning, educating and thriving in the field of ophthalmology.
Target audience: Ophthalmic healthcare professionals
Episodes: 5 • Mean duration: 40 mins
Hosts: Dr Jacqueline Beltz (FRANZCO)
Apple Podcasts rating: None

 

 

 

References:

1. Samuels JM, Halpern AL, Carmichael H, et al. This Surgical Life – An Exploration of Surgical Department Podcasting. J Surg Educ 2020;77(5):1257-65.
2. Back DA, von Malotky J, Sostmann K, et al. Superior Gain in Knowledge by Podcasts Versus Text-Based Learning in Teaching Orthopaedics: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Surg Educ 2017;74(1):154-60.

 

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Yarrow Scantling-Birch

Royal Sussex County Hospital.

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